After just getting adjusted and acclimated to life in Greece and my new cultural setting, my acclimation was put on hold and I was taken to a new setting for a week. We traveled to Turkey for a week of educational and cultural experiences.
Culture in Turkey surprisingly seemed to be more Americanized than I originally anticipated, even more-so than life in Athens. Immediately after getting off our ferry we were greeted by hundreds of bars, restaurants, stores and shops, all which played American music varying from Nirvana and Nickelback to Lil Wayne and Kayne West. Not much traditional Turkish music was played in the areas we were located (Kusadasi and Istanbul).
The people of Turkey also referenced American culture within mass media while holding conversations with us as well. One of our waiters guessed what nationality we all were, Irish, Spanish, Italian. When he came to me he guessed I was Italian, and he said “Just like the Tony Soprano.” Our tour guide even referenced movie stars from Bill Murray, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears. At one point he referred to one of the statues in a museum as a goddess and called it an “ancient version of Jenifer Lopez.”
As we traveled to Turkey we get a variation of different cultures from Asia, Europe, the Americas and Middle East society I truly got a variety of cultures in one experience, but the media culture that was mainly focused was America.
We also traveled to a newspaper publication, “Today’s Zaman.” This paper was the largest paper within Turkey with a circulation of 750,000 daily and is the 75th largest paper in the world. The paper is in English and is only one of two newspaper that are in English in Turkey yet is the largest out of all news publications in the country. The paper focuses on Turkish issues including their economy and politics but also has articles and references to American Society. The paper even had American sports in it from news on the Texas Rangers to the Los Angeles Lakers on the back page. This makes me wonder how much society is becoming Americanized as well.
The amount of Americanization within media culture makes me wonder if they were just doing this because we were tourist/living in a tourist area (in reference to music) or if because things are really becoming more Americanized. In my last posted I pondered and was leading towards media in global society being more of a Conglomerate based as opposed to Americanization but with my last travel I am not so sure. As I said before this is definitely something that I will have to explore through my 3+ months travel throughout the world.
Nick Vitukevich, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Pierce Arrow Blogger